I'm a former high school Math teacher turned Quality Assurance Analyst for a video game studio. I taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Remedial Math, and Remedial Algebra 1 in my time in the classroom. I prided myself in excelling when I was teaching, and consistently had over 90% pass rates on state testing. My approach to tutoring is to empower students to learn the material well enough to teach it themselves.
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus - Bachelors, CareerTech Education - Business and Information Technology
ACT Math: 36
ACT Reading: 33
ACT Science: 33
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is simple. I want my teaching to encourage students to be lifelong learners. That means encouraging them to enjoy learning, and empowering them to know how to learn on their own. I also want students to know a concept well enough they can teach it to others. I strive to incorporate both of these concepts into my teaching.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I need to evaluate a student's knowledge level. The first thing I'm going to do is speak with the student and their parent about their past and current performance in the subject. This will shape how I structure my lessons with them. This also depends on the needs of the client. Afterwards, I would spend some time helping the student with the current concepts they're struggling with in class. This will let me also evaluate the student for things they may not realize they don't know. This will help me structure what we're covering to best help the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The biggest things I can do to instill a lifelong love of learning is to make it feel rewarding to do so. For me, I had teachers that encouraged me to learn more any time I didn't know something, and they empowered me with the tools to do so. It's important to me to make students able to learn independently because they won't always have a teacher or tutor around to help them learn something. Being an independent learner is a vital skill for post-secondary education, and one I try my best to instill in my students.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The biggest thing I can do to help students stay motivated is to help them achieve success. When I was a classroom teacher, I often had to motivate students who had given up on themselves in Math. A little bit of success can go a long way towards motivating a student to learn again.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The first thing I will do if a student is struggling is ask myself why they're having issues. How I help a struggling student completely depends on this. If they're missing previously taught concepts, then I would go back and help them understand those. If they're simply struggling with the current concept, I would break it down into smaller chunks until we can learn the smaller chunks, then put them together until we have the concepts down.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The best way I can help a student with reading comprehension is to break down readings into smaller pieces. Instead of reading and comprehending a whole page, we might start with just a paragraph. If that paragraph is too much, then we might just do a couple of sentences at a time. We can add a few more sentences or paragraphs at a time until we've completed the entire piece, and then go from there.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy for me when I was a classroom teacher was a strategy called "I do, we do, you do." With this strategy, I will do a few problems and explain the steps I am taking each time, then the student and I will do some together, and then the student will do some problems and explain the steps they are doing to me as they go. This is one of the most successful strategies I used while teaching.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
One of the best things I can do to motivate a student who is struggling is to help them relate to the content. This could be through hands-on activities, discussing real-life applications, or making the content easier to digest.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The best way I can make sure a student understands the material is to have them explain it to me. In my time teaching, this was one of the best ways for me to find holes in a student's knowledge.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
One of the biggest things I do to build confidence in a subject is to provide positive reinforcement and positive attitude towards the subject. Ultimately though, success in a subject is a huge way to build a student's confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First and foremost, I'm going to talk with the student and their parents to determine what they need help with. As I'm helping the student, I'm also going to watch for concepts they might need help with as well, and adjust our activities accordingly.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
When I'm tutoring, I try to adjust the strategies I use to what works best with a student. I make adjustments based on what's working and what isn't. If a student is struggling to understand a concept, I will adjust my strategies to ones that suit their learning preferences better.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I try to use a variety of different resources. Practice problems, student homework assignments, and student textbooks can all be great resources for me to use to help a student.